Thursday, January 28, 2010

Little things

There isn't much going on around here, but there are a few little things. Yesterday I spent some time getting some little gift bags ready for Stephanie's baby shower. The shower is on Saturday. When I made the invitations I used brown paper with little dots to make umbrellas....when I saw these little bags with dots and brown ribbon I knew I needed to get them. I left the room when I was done filling them and came back to this!

Inspector Molly was checking them out to make sure that I did it right...and to see if there was anything for cats inside. Sorry git! I get a lot of help around here. I moved the bags to a higher spot. I think they look kind of cool all in a row.

Dots are in right now! I found plates and napkins with dots too. The shower should be fun. There are almost as many people giving it as there are guests....well not quite.....but it doesn't feel like there is much work to do with so many helpers. The main thing I remember about my baby shower was that I felt so huge I could hardly get out of the chair...and then trying to open gifts around my huge belly....I needed longer arms. I hope that Steph remembers something more fun than little dotted goodie bags.

One to other things. The house was rocking a little bit ago. The last day of the semester was today for the boys. To celebrate they went and got another disc for their PlayStation 3 Rock Band. Crank it up man!! One of the songs was ghost busters....we won't need one if they keep playing it so loud. The ghosts will go and find a quiet house to live in. HEY...TURN THAT DOWN! Actually, I love it how they get along with each other....and I'm not going to like it when the house is quiet. Maybe I'll have to have some friends over to play Rock Band with me when the boys move away.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow night....we are going to the World Toughest Rodeo. Those cowboys are tough...or nuts...maybe a little of both. Yee Haw! This little cowgirl sits on the window sill in my office. You can put business cards in her lasso...but I don't. I posted a picture of her in honor of the rodeo. And because I'm bored.

Did you notice the full moon? Fun to see on a crisp clear night. I took this picture standing out in my driveway.

It's kind of reassuring to me that it is so bright and clear even with the suburb lights. And with that, I'm out of things to say. Good night!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Just thought I'd share a some flowers today. It's around 5 degrees outside...but the sun has been shining. That helps. The flowers are sunny and bright too.

Eric bought me a bouquet of purple and gold flowers last week in honor of the Vikings game. He's sort of romantic that way you know.

The flowers have held up a little better than the offensive line did on Sunday. I wonder how their bumps and bruises are feeling today....the Vikings...not my flowers. I wouldn't want to be a football player a day or two after the game....especially an "old" one. When did 40 become "old" anyway? Well, besides when we were kids I know, like 30.

On another note....while I was taking pictures of my flowers the dog woofed to come in. I spend a lot of time letting the dog in and out of the house. in hand I noticed the sun hitting the neighbors I stepped outside and snapped a quick picture.

It would have been better if I had gone around to the other side of the tree...but since I was barefooted it didn't seem like a good idea at the time. Is it summer yet?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Purple Pride

Eric and I drove up to the country to spend some time with our folks, to check on the horses, and to watch the game. The boys had homework and other things going on so they opted not to join us. Times are a changin'. It was a damp, rainy, slushy day for a drive. The horses were wet and scruffy and happy to have some extra grain. have hay in your mane....were you hiding your head between the bales? Why don't you have sense enough to go into the barn when it rains?

Skylar, you're looking sort of wet and shaggy too. Rain or shine, they are happy to see us. After spending some time with them, it was time to go and watch the Vikings game.

We had been waiting all week. Which team would show up? Would it be a blow out? Will the Vikes be in the Superbowl again after all these years? This would be the year to do it if they were going to. It wasn't to be. They started out great. And then the cheap hits on Favre started to come. And the team couldn't hang onto the ball. And the biased announcers kept droning on and on. And more cheap hits....and more fumbles. And a lost toss in overtime. And that was that. It is hard to watch a team that plays dirty win in any situation. It's worse when they are playing against "your" team. Sour grapes, maybe...but when your game plan is to injure the opposing teams quarterback two weeks in a row there is something wrong. Nastiness being rewarded in any arena is a bad thing. On the other hand, hats off to Brett Favre who played his heart out. What a fun season to watch his passion and love for the game...and his leadership. The things he taught some of the young players about how to play the game will live on long after he retires.

In the media so many of our fans are complaining about the "disappointing" season. 13 wins.....overtime and 3 points from the Superbowl....a quarterback that gave his all to the game. How can that be called disappointing? Purple Pride, it's not about winning or losing, it's how they played the game.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gray Day

Saturday was a gray and gloomy day in Minnesota. It rained, and rained some more. Gray. Blah. 1/3 of an inch of gray. This photo looks like it is a black and white photo...nope...just gray ol' Minnesota.

Don't get me wrong, I'll take gray over 30 below any day....but still. We had a few errands to run. It was a good day to run errands, or a better day to stay under a warm blanket somewhere.

It was gray enough that there wasn't much to see looking out of the window. A little reflection from the red stop light....

....a little reflection of the green go light...

Green light...GO DOG GO! we skip the errands and just keep going...

....South somewhere? No? Shucks. I guess I'll opt for that warm blanket in front of my TV until about April.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Busy Day

It's been a busy, but good day. The morning was spent working. When I get organized I'll post pictures of some of the jobs I've been doing lately. Worked in the morning, went shopping in the afternoon. Some fun shopping, then some grocery shopping. Michael's shopping, Kohl's...some fun, some necessary shopping. Cub Foods....not so fun shopping except for a couple of fun things. It was about time for Eric to get off of work, so I gave him a call and asked him if he wanted to go on a date to Cub...he said sure. Gotta love that guy. He met me there. Then I ran into one of my dearest friends Eileen...hi Eileen! We had a nice chat, but I kept thinking that my teen aged boys might die of starvation before I got home, so we cut it sort of short. Then I ran into another friend, Tiffany, and we caught up on a few things too. It's so fun to see people I know when I'm out and about, it makes our suburb seem a little bit smaller. Then it was home to unpack groceries and to feed my starving children. A nice meal (appreciated by them), a little wine (appreciated by me) and family time. A perfect way to end the week.

I didn't have a chance to take an interesting photo of the day, so I took a picture of our wine. The bottle is half empty, the glass is half full. And that's all I have to say about that!
The end.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This and That

This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine....this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine....

The candles are from my photo of the day for yesterday. I meant to post something yesterday but have been too busy with work. Design work...can't complain about that! House work on the other hand, I would be sad if that kept me from blogging. Anyway, there anything nicer than candles on a winter day?

I don't have a lot to say today, but I have a couple of little videos to share. The first on came in an email. This is what the email said:
Palindrome: A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward. This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward. Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite. This is only a 1 minute, 44 second video and it is brilliant. Make sure you read as well as listen forward and backward. This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old. The contest was titled "u @ 50" by AARP. This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause. So simple and yet so brilliant. Take a minute and watch it.

The second video was posted on Facebook. It's a parody of the Black Eyed Peas song "I gotta feeling" that has been turned into a song about the Vikings. Vikings fever, it's hit in a big way. Win or lose they are playing on Sunday and hopefully it will be a great game. Skol Vikings!

My photo of the day for today was taken at supper time. Since I was working most of the day we went for pizza tonight. Pizza is usually a hit....tonight was no exception.

I think you can see that from the smiles. Hoping to be caught up with a few jobs by tomorrow. I want to get outside and enjoy the rain. Well, maybe not.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mr. Cardinal

It was a foggy, cloudy day today. Dark enough that Mr. Cardinal came to the bird feeder midday rather than only at dawn or dusk. Hello Mr. Cardinal.

Mr. Cardinal is pretty shy. Hmmm...looks like he is turning the other cheek to me.

I knew that if I opened the back door even a crack he'd be I took a few pictures through the glass. You're looking nice and plump there Mr. Cardinal, how are those sunflower seeds?

Who you callin' fat lady?

Cardinals, sheesh....

...they're such sensitive little birds.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doing Some Good

We did something good tonight. I'm not sharing it here to say that "we did something good", I'm sharing it here to spread the word about a really wonderful organization that we had the honor to volunteer at tonight. The organization is called "Feed My Starving Children." If you have time, click on their name and check out all that they do. This is Eric and Billy standing in front of the building that is located in Chanhassen. There are 4 sites in the Twin Cities area.

A quick description of what they are all about....volunteers come and package dried meals into bags that are sealed and boxed and then crated to be shipped around the world to feed children in need. The meal mixtures consist of a chicken flavored powder with 20 vitamins and minerals, dehydrated vegetables, a textured soy protein and rice. The Chanhassen facility has 8 stations like the ones pictured below. This was taken after the clean up was done. During the packing time it is one busy place!

Here is a closer look. A bag is opened and placed on the bottom of the funnel (in the blue stand). A measured scoop of each of the 4 ingredients is put into the bag in a specific order. Billy was in charge of the dried vegetables. The bag is then weighed (my job tonight) and then sealed (Eric's job tonight). The sealed bags are then counted and put in a box which is whisked away to the back room. There is a friendly competition to see which station can pack up the most boxes....we came in second. :-) Anyway, there were about 85 volunteers there tonight....more than usual. Between us all we packed up 56 boxes in about an hour. I didn't think that 56 boxes sounded like all that much...until the leader started giving us some numbers.

1 box = 36 meal bags. 1 meal bag feeds 6 people. So 56 boxes x 36 bags x 6 meals per bag = 12,096 meals just over an hour. That means 33 children can have a nutritious meal every day for a full year. That's making a real difference....with very little time or effort. Each meal costs 17 cents to produce....the costs are covered strictly by donations. 94% of all donations go directly into the feeding program. Like I said, it's a wonderful organization.
We've volunteered there before through our church. When the earthquake hit Haiti, volunteering at "Feed My Starving Children" was one of my first thoughts of a way that I could help. At church on Sunday they had a special sign-up for volunteers for could we say no?
They've placed over a million meals on the ground in Haiti right now. They are hoping to get 3 million more there soon. Distribution has been difficult...but they are working it out. Feed My Starving Children is partners with missionaries around the world who distribute the meals to those that need them most. One missionary that they work with in Haiti is "Love a Child". If you have a minute and want to see what they are doing, check out their website that I linked to their name. The woman there has a blog, "Sherry's Journal".... the pictures after the earthquake are very graphic, but I would say that they are an honest look at the horror that the people are facing right now.

We see the images on TV, we hear of the devastation, we want to do something! Of course donations of money do help, but there is something about donating time and effort and being able to see the results at the end of your shift that makes a person feel that they really can help. Knowing that you've been a part of preparing food for thousands of desperate people, praying over those crates of food before they are makes a difference...for them and for the volunteers.
I know that everyone is busy, their lives are full, they can't fit in one more thing...but I'll challenge you to make a little bit of time to do something good for someone else this week. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Funday

We had some commitments here this weekend so we stayed in town. The best part of the weekend was taking a break to watch the Vikings beat the Cowboys in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Anyone that has been a Vikings fan for any length of time knows the joy and the frustration being a fan brings. This weekend they brought joy...great joy! 34 -3 points of joy. Favre and Jared Allen both make me smile. A couple of school yard punks with smiles that only match their intensity. In between plays I kept my fingers busy with my crocheting project.

This week the stitches were pretty loose, next week, when they are playing the Saints the whole thing might unravel...but then might not. Being a Vikings fan isn't for the weak. But that's OK, you get used to it after a while.
SKOL Vikings!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Angel of the Heart

I love these little statues that are made by Willow Tree. I have a few of them. This is my newest one, she is called the Angel of the Heart. She's sitting on the top of the shelf that surrounds my computer. Angel of the Heart. Is she also a protector of the Heart? Whose is she protecting? Hers or the ones that surround her?

My heart is feeling a little sad and fragile today. I won't say why, but I will say that I like to think that there is an angel holding it close. Feelings and hearts can be hurt so easily, it's so important to remember to take care with the hearts of others and treat them with kindness. I remember when the boys were in preschool, they were trying to teach the kids how important it was to be kind to each other. They each cut out a paper heart, and then talked about hurtful things that people sometimes do to each other. They said that hurtful things damaged the a wrinkle in the paper. Each time an example of a hurtful thing was given, the kids were instructed to wrinkle up their paper heart a little bit more. Example after example, wrinkle after wrinkle. Pretty soon the paper hearts were just a wadded up and broken. The teachers then asked the kids how they could make it better. Some said to apologize, some said to try to be nicer. With each example of how the problem could be fixed the wrinkles in the heart were smoothed out a little bit more.

But in the end, even though they tried and tried to smooth out those wrinkles, the hearts were never quite the same. Just like ours. The little hurts can add up and the person that's been hurt is never quite the same. It was such a wonderful example for those little souls to take in. I'm grateful to those amazing teachers from all those years ago for teaching me how to teach my boys and I'm grateful to have an angel of the heart looking over me to remind me to take care with others.
That's all.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A little project

I spent some time cleaning and straightening and organizing around the house today. I still have lots more to's an ongoing thing around here....but it felt nice to get a few extra things done. Motivation for cleaning isn't something that I have an abundance of, so sometimes I have to trick myself into doing it. For instance I'll say....if I get "x" amount of stuff done, then I can do "y". So, I got "x" amount done today....and my reward is to start another project. It's just a little project. I'm calling it "y". Or why? Or something.

It's a little crocheting project. I won't say what it is just yet, because it might be a while until it's finished. You see, it's going to be my reward for getting all that other stuff done. You know, the "x" and "y" thing I just mentioned. Trouble is, I never liked math very much and getting from "x" to "y" sounds an awful lot like algebra. Ewww. I might have to come up with a different plan.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Getting Crafty

See this big mess on my kitchen table? It's just me getting crafty. It's not too unusual for me to have some sort of project in progress somewhere...this one just ended up on my kitchen table. For a while anyway.

What in the world am I making?? Baby shower invitations! My niece Stephanie is going to have a baby....and we, her aunts, are having a shower for her. Which also means that my brother is going to be a grandpa...and all I can say about that is better him than me!! Back to the shower. One of my jobs was to make the invitations. No sweat, I love stuff like that. But for this blank. Such a total blank that panic started to set in. Oh dear. So I looked on-line and got a few vague ideas. Then I went to the craft store to look around. Something always jumps out at me. Nothing did. Double oh dear. I wandered around for almost an hour...nothing. So I did what I always do when I'm drawing a blank...I gave it up to God. That always works. But not this time. I was really feeling in trouble here...and then I said to myself, God must be busy working on real you help me? Yep, I pray and I talk to my dad in heaven and it helps me....which is more than I usually share on this old blog....but that's what I do. My dad always made me feel like I could do anything I tried to do...and I think he really believed that I could. What a gift to give your child. Anyway, as soon as I gave it up to God and to my dad the ideas quickly started coming.

One of the things I debated about was doing the invitations by hand or on the computer. The light bulb came on and I decided that I could do a little of each! I drew up all the parts on my computer. I printed parts of the outside of the cards along with an outline of where I was going to glue some cut out shapes.

I printed a template and then cut out umbrellas from scrapbook paper. 34 dotted umbrellas.

Again, after printing a template, I cut out 34 pregnant silhouettes. I talked Eric into tracing some of them for me. I used an exacto knife to cut out the arm holes, a scissors to do the rest. 34 times.

They looked a little plain, so I tied on some ribbon and attached them with little flower shaped know...the kind that have the two flat pieces of metal on the back that you spread out to keep them in place.

34 ribbons, 34 little tacks. Again, I asked Eric to help tie the ribbons. You see, Eric won a square knot tying contest when he was in cub I said....hey knot tying champion, want to help? He said yes...I said yeah!!

Then I used these little "bridal confetti" flowers to add a little more dimension.

Aren't they cool? I think we'll use the extras on the tables at the shower.

They are sparkly too!

Here is the front with all of the pieces glued on. Oh's a shower!

Then I had to fold the cards. The umbrella folded towards the back.

This is the inside of the card. I had scanned the paper that I used for the umbrella's and used it for a border. I revised some clipart to put baby clothes on the line. They aren't finding out the sex of their baby before hand, so I used lots of colors. I printed the inside of the cards while they were still flat, before I had glued the stuff on the front and folded them.

The shower is going to be in a church basement, so I made maps to the church.

Here is the inside and the outside. I'm really happy with how they turned out.

I'm not sure why I drew such a blank on this one. I think that it was because I wanted it to be extra special for my niece. She's young and hip and her friends are young and hip so I wanted to do something young and fun that she would like and wouldn't be embarrassed by. I hope that she likes them. I do! And once I got started I had a lot of fun doing them. Cutting and pasting and making a mess, it's what I do. And Oh brother is going to be a grandpa! :-)